The local brides and grooms in Ukraine wore beautiful folk costumes for their wedding 100 years ago. The wedding dress used to be colorful, multilayered, and richly decorated. Among the most important accessories, were ornate jewels and bridal wreaths. Here is a great collection of Ukrainian authentic wedding outfits and modern bride’s wreaths and necklaces. These costumes look striking and stand out from the crowd. And by the way, a lot of Ukrainian brides today return to traditions and use folk wedding clothing on their happy day.
The traditional women’s wedding costume usually consisted of a richly embroidered shirt, a long skirt, an apron, outerwear, an embroidered towel as a belt, shoes, jewelry, and a bridal wreath. Each garment had to be bright and beautifully embellished but feminine and delicate at the same time.
The shirt was usually prepared a long time before the wedding itself. And it had to be handmade and hand-embroidered by the bride. She used special patterns to protect herself from the evil eye and to get happiness in marriage. Of course, every shirt was unique.
An embroidered towel called “rushnyk” served as a belt. It was tied around the waist of a bride and added more festiveness.
The jewelry set of a bride was numerous and expensive. It was a way of showing off the wealth of the family. Earrings and finger rings were used, but the main part were necklaces – sometimes dozens of rows of necklaces covered the neck, chest, and belly of the bride. Here is an example of a nice bridal jewelry set.
The wedding wreath was perhaps the most important item of the female wedding costume. We’ve already showed you some Ukrainian bridal wreaths, but the ones you’ll see below are even more opulent and drop-dead gorgeous. They are modern replicas but they can help you see the beauty of a traditional wedding attire used hundreds of years ago. At the time, there were artisans who made wedding headdresses individually for every bride.
And now, let’s see these magnificent wedding outfits and accessories.
The outfits are vintage, the wreaths and necklaces are modern. These costumes were displayed at the Wedding Ukraine exhibition (Viktor Yushchenko Museum of Ukrainian heritage, Kyiv outlet village “Manufactura”).
Modern replica of a wedding dress from Volyn’ region (western Ukraine). The fabric of these garments is handmade and very special – it is so thin that is transparent. This ultra-thin linen cloth is typical for this particular region. Also, such an outfit was the only one in Ukraine that needed an undershirt because of its transparency. This gorgeous snow-white wreath is a modern replica of an authentic headdress from Kyiv region, 1950-60s. The artisan is Svitlana Vavilova
Antique bride’s costume from Poltava region (central Ukraine), late 19th – early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Oksana Yahodka
Vintage bridal attire from Vinnytsia region (west-central Ukraine), late 19th – early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern and made by the artisan Oksana Yahodka
Authentic women’s wedding outfit from central Ukraine, late 19th – early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Oksana Yahodka
Antique costume of a groom from Hutsul area (western Ukraine), 1931. This shirt is even signed by the name of its owner and the year of the wedding. There is a red kerchief tied around the sleeve of the shirt – it is an accessory that indicates this is the groom
Vintage bridal attire from Ivano-Frankivsk region (western Ukraine), late 19th – early 20th century. The headwear is called “chiltse”. It is a modern replica of the local popular bridal headgear. This headdress and the necklace are both modern and made by the artisan Svitlana Vavilova
Antique bridal attire from Kyiv region (capital of Ukraine), late 19th – early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Oksana Yahodka
Vintage wedding clothing of a bride. The wreath and necklace are modern and produces by the artisan Svitlana Vavilova
Authentic bridal outfit from Poltava region (central Ukraine), early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswoman is Svitlana Vavilova
Vintage wedding costume, early 20th century. These modern replicas of the wreath and necklace are made by the artisan Svitlana Vavilova
Antique bride’s dress from central Ukraine, early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The name of the craftswoman is Svitlana Vavilova
Vintage bridesmaid’s clothing from eastern Ukraine, early 20th century. The wreath and necklace are modern. The craftswomen are Svitlana Vavilova and Olena Solovchuk